In an historic first on July 6, the Lithuanian ambassador in France rekindled the Eternal Fire on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier underneath the iconic Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
The ceremony took place on the day Lithuania celebrated its Statehood Day and the 30th anniversary of the restoration of independence.
Ambassador Nerijus Aleksiejūnas laid a wreath in the colours of the Lithuanian flag on the tomb of an unknown soldier buried there in the aftermath of World War Two, a place of remembrance for soldiers who died in the line of duty for French freedom.
“This is the first time that Lithuania is honoured with such a solemn ceremony. It is symbolic that this is being done for Lithuania this year, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the restoration of independence. This ceremony is a proof that the struggle for freedom is universal and it unites Lithuania with France,” Ambassador Aleksiejūnas said.
After the ceremony, about 50 enthusiastic members of the Lithuanian community in France sang the national anthem, a yearly tradition on the evening of July 6 observed by patriotic Lithuanians all over the world.
Earlier in the day, the Lithuanian ambassador awarded the Star of Lithuanian Diplomacy to honorary consuls Anne-Marie Goussard and Pierre Minonzio for their contributions to fostering Lithuanian–French relations.